Hola amigos y amigas! Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately that is not celebrated here in the country of Spain and, alas, I am in classes today. It’s weird but classes are almost like a relief because it gives me something to do. A solid plan of somewhere where I have to be the next day which is disconcerting while I am still trying to get used to all this free time! Those who know me well know that (for better or for worse) I thrive on having lots of things going on at once, whether it is club meetings, UMTV shoots, running errands, or doing homework. That being said, this whole free time thing gets to me a little bit, but I can already feel myself adjusting and I know it will be something I miss when I go back to UM in the spring.
Saturday we took an excursion to Segovia, a small city about 50 minutes outside of Madrid. I had been there before when I came to Spain with my class in the 8th grade and I surprised myself when I remembered the rooms in the castle that we toured! We first saw the Aqueduct and then went to el Alcazar and two cathedrals. I still have to pinch myself when I am touring around all these places. At times, it is still hard to believe that I am in Europe around so much rich history and beautiful architecture. After walking, our legs needed a big break so we relaxed and had a lunch overlooking the hills.
The specialties in Segovia are cochinillo (suckling pig) and cerdo (pork); so naturally, I knew I had to try it. It was so good and my first real meal at a restaurant since I have been here which was a definitely refreshing!
We were all exhausted after the tour (I woke up at 7:00 every day since I arrived!) and passed out on the bus ride home. When I got back to my house I laid around until dinner. I had tortilla española which is a common food here. It is basically a thick omelet of egg, potato, and onion. After, I ran across to an Internet café to skype with my parents and then returned quickly home to go to bed because I needed a good sleep! I am working on getting the WiFi to work where I live so that I can get on the Internet more and see all your lovely faces via skype so I will let you know how that goes!
Today was a nice and relaxing Sunday. I finally got almost ten hours of solid sleep and so felt great when I woke up! I met up with few people and we went to El Rastro, an outdoor flea market that is held on Sundays. Literally the streets are cramped with tourists and a few locals looking for cheap buys. They had so many different types of things from jewelry to bags to shoes to parachute pants?! (Literally, they are everywhere here but do not worry I am not returning to the states with these… ever.) I did not buy anything but I’m glad to see what is out there and will definitely come back. This place is also a hotspot for pick pockets but I kept my bag close and my money zipped tight!
Afterwards we needed a refreshment so picked up Napolitanos from El Mallorquina, a famous bakery near La Puerta del Sol. It only cost a Euro and was SO good. We then went and sat in an air conditioned Starbucks (also all over the place!) to relax before heading home.
Oh, a side note. Turns out their modern buildings are beautiful too because I went to the most magnificent H&M of my life today. I felt like I was in Bergdorf’s… but cheaper. I’m thinking about sending all of my clothes home now so I can restock solely from that store.
I digress. Then, I went over to Taylor’s place to grab lunch with her and a few of her friends. We did not end up actually leaving for our then late late lunch or early early dinner until about 5:30. On Sundays lots of places are closed completely or have very limited hours so we knew we were pushing our luck. However, by that time anything would do so we stopped at a coffee shop for bocadillos (sandwiches) and I also had a smoothie. It really is hard to adjust to their eating schedule but soon enough, it’ll happen.
Later, I ran home because I had not been there since the morning and needed to figure out if I actually had homework, but then went back to Taylor’s to eat cake for her friend’s birthday (who needs homework?). It’s unbelievably nice to have someone so close with a nice apartment that includes Internet and a nice place to sit!
So that’s where I am at today. Tomorrow I have classes and am planning on heading to buy a membership to a nearby gym (I’m gonna need it with all the bread and cheese I’m eating for every. single. meal.) and hopefully figuring out this Internet debacle!